Cale Makar's two goals on Thursday night weren't enough to lift the Colorado Avalanche past the Minnesota Wild, but they did earn him rave reviews from both head coaches after the 3-2 loss.
"I’d like to be his agent," Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau joked to the Star Tribune. "He’s going to make a lot of money pretty soon."
Makar, who had one goal and six points in 10 playoff games with the Avalanche last spring, increased his totals to seven goals and 25 points in 22 games as a rookie this season with Thursday's performance.
"He's a difference-maker for us tonight again," Colorado head coach Jared Bednar said of the 21-year-old defenceman. "We had some horses tonight. I was overplaying a handful of guys because they were going. We need everybody going, especially with some of the guys we have out of the lineup.
"We need guys pulling their weight, and I don't think we had that tonight. We've had it, and tonight we just didn't. We'll review it and move onto the next one."
Makar played a team-high 24:41 of ice time against the Wild, bringing his average ice time up to 19:42 per game on the season. He ranks second on the team in points behind only centre Nathan MacKinnon and is second among NHL defencemen in points behind John Carlson (36) of the Washington Capitals.
Among rookies, Makar has an eight-point lead over Vancouver Canucks blueliner Quinn Hughes for most points. His seven goals are tied with Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson for the most among that group.
As for making money, Makar has another year remaining on his entry-level contract before restricted free agency in 2021.